Alto Belle, who ran off into another zip code when defeating maiden rivals on Aqueduct’s main track in November, might be the horse to beat on the Big A’s inner dirt Saturday in the $100,000 Busanda.
Contested at one mile and 70 yards, the Busanda is part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks Prep Season. Kentucky Oaks (G1) eligibility points of 10-4-2-1 will be awarded to the first four finishers in the race, which produced 2013 Oaks winner Princess of Sylmar.
Second by a neck in her debut and sixth when trying the turf second out, Alto Belle put it all together in the mud November 20, burying four maiden rivals by a winning margin of 18 1/2 lengths. Irad Ortiz Jr. takes the mount Saturday for the Florida-based John Velazquez.
The only one in the Busanda field with any prior stakes appearance is Flora Dora, who captured the $500,000 My Dear Girl division of the Florida Sires S. at Gulfstream in October. The First Dude filly subsequently tried graded company twice in November, finishing second by a half-length in the Tempted (G3) and fourth in the Demoiselle (G2).
Scatoosh, who broke her maiden New Year’s Day in her sixth start, is joined by other recent maiden grads Arch Or Nothing and Dreams to Reality, who earned her first win running for a $65,000 tag. Kentucky Road, recently second in a starter allowance, and the maiden She’s So Fine complete the field.
(Flora Dora photo: Lauren King/Adam Coglianese Photography)